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Who was bullied at school? I could do with some help thinking this through. Longish...

80 replies

TooTicky · 24/08/2007 23:31

My dd1 (10) gets bullied at school. It is instigated by one girl who seems to have complete control over the other girls.
The headmaster has been great and really tried to integrate them but it is a long term problem and I can't see it being resolved easily.
It doesn't help that I think too much emphasis has been put upon my dd's problems with socialising (which are noticeable but not crippling away from school - but huge in school, largely due, I think, to previous bad experiences and feeling unable to trust anybody). And not enough emphasis upon the appalling behaviour of the problem girl.
So. She has one more year at this school. It is a small school - no other groups of children to hang around with.
She is extremely bright.
If this year starts as badly as the last one ended, should I just deregister her and homeschool her for a year?
I am worried about the exclusion she has already experienced and about the effects it will have on her if she has another year of it. I well remember the awful feeling of being unwanted and despised at school.
Poor love was so pleased and surprised recently when she had been playing with various children in a park....she said, "They actually liked me! I'm not rubbish after all!"

So, would it be unfair to make her suffer another year of it? Academically, she could easily cope without school. She'd probably learn more under her own steam.
How would you feel if you were her?
How would you feel if you were me?

Many thanks to anybody who has read this far

OP posts:
TheArmadillo · 24/08/2007 23:37

There are two parts to school the academic and the social.

I think there are several points to consider if she is really unhappy.

  1. WIth regards to the socialising, if you took her out do you think she would still socialise enough with other children, at clubs/groups etc.

  2. Is her school feeding into one particular senior school - so are the people she is at school with now likely to be exactly the same ones as she is going to be rejoining in a year? Will it be a bigger school (more people in the year group to socialise with).
UCM · 24/08/2007 23:41

Where do I start. I was bullied by one girl. I used to stick my fingers down my throat so I didn't have to go to school. This was the first year of seniors. She was the head honcho of our group and bullied each and every one of us individually and made the others blank the one whose sorry week it was. We pooled together to buy a rubiks cube once and xx decided who had it on whatever day, I missed that week because I annoyed her. I wept and my parents couldn't work out what was wrong with me. My Father did and told me to stand up to her but I didn't and he worked away.

Outside of school I made friends with another girl who kept telling me to 'knock her out'. This girl was the same school but a different form.

One day I saw my tormentor in town, saw red and ran at her and pushed her through Boots window. Luckily she survived it, it just caved in. Her mother came to our house some months later and my Mother was apologetic but realised what had gone on. I bullied my tormentor after that.

I got my self respect back and the other girls couldn't wait to be my friend. But I didn't want any of it and became a bit of a loner myself. I never mixed with girls in my form although I used to sort out their bullying problems.

Not sure if this is any help but that is what happened.

Sonnet · 24/08/2007 23:41

I can empathise - I too have a dd of 10 who dosn't "quite" fit in.

Is she fairly mature for her age - could you discuss with her the possibility of HE?

How is she feeling about going back to school?

If HE could you help her with socialising for the year and build her confidence socially before she is back in mainstream education for secondary

would the girls at her current school be at the same secondary?

sorry for all these questions - just trying to establish a few more facts because my gut instint says to HE for the year!

SpeccieSeccie · 24/08/2007 23:42

I'd feel blue too if I were you or her.

Can you go back to the school and stress this or ask them their advice? I suppose that if they are focusing on any worries that your dd has with socialising it might be useful for her to continue there if they were helping her.

Also, could taking your dd out of school make her nervous about going back to mainstream school after homeschooling? I think I'd try to sort the problem with her in school but having said that I was bullied a bit and as soon as I changed to a new school and started over it just stopped.

UCM · 24/08/2007 23:42

Oh and I asked to be moved to another house. We had houses.

McEdam · 24/08/2007 23:42

I think Armadillo's asked some excellent questions.

Are there no other schools she could attend? I am inclined to say get her out, if the school hasn't sorted it out yet, doesn't sound as if they will ever, tbh. Speaking as someone who was bullied at one particular school, the relief when my mother found out and pulled me out of there was IMMENSE.

juuule · 24/08/2007 23:46

Take her out. At least for y6. She can build up her confidence and then decide. Don't worry about going to the secondary school with the primary school lot. If the secondary school is a large one it's unlikely that she will have to be with them anyway.

UCM · 24/08/2007 23:47

We didnt' have the opportunity to be moved.

Can you find a stronger friend who can support her through this.

I must admit my Father encouraged me to stand up to her and to be honest he was right. Once I had, the other girls did as well.

TooTicky · 24/08/2007 23:53

UCM, that's quite a story!

She hasn't really socialised much out of school up until now anyway. We're quite rural, which makes things little trickier. However, she will shortly be joining a friendly group which meets weekly and has no school connections. Also, she may change to a different Guide group where she does have friends - as opposed to the village one which has been marred by Problem Girl.

The secondary school she is hoping to attend has a broader mix of people and the problem girl will not be there, or at her second choice school. She is very much looking forward to secondary school. She would rejoin a couple of the girls, but away from Problem Girl they are okay - they're just spineless. Also, dd1 wouldn't have to spend time with them anyway, as there will be lots of other people.

She is very mature for her age and is desperate to be HE. We have discussed it before but decided to give the school a chance to sort things out.

OP posts:
startouchedtrinity · 24/08/2007 23:54

I think you need to get her out, but home-ed may not be so good unless you can keep up an active social life for her, and accept she may want/need home-ed at secondary level too. I was bullied and so wish my parents had acted - I know she will feel so relieved if you take action.

startouchedtrinity · 24/08/2007 23:56

If sh ewants to home-ed, do it. Life is too short to feel like s**t when you are a child. Think of the precious time you will have together. Do it.

TooTicky · 24/08/2007 23:56

That's what I keep thinking. Goodness knows what her brothers will say! Dd2 would love having her at home though

OP posts:
Sonnet · 24/08/2007 23:59

Agree - do it!

just keep up the "social side"

She will blossom in the year...

Please post the decision you make and how it works out for you

TooTicky · 25/08/2007 00:00

How do I keep up the social side? How can I find her some 'alternative' friends? Veggie, lentilly types... that's what she really needs!

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Bewilderbeast · 25/08/2007 00:01

Are there any groups you could involve her in where she would mix with girls who are going to the same high school as her? I was bullied badly at primary school but it got even worse when I went to secondary because only 2 other people from my school went and I didn't know them or mix with them. I had no back up or anyone to talk to. I couldn't fit in at high school at the start and stood out as a target from the visiting day onwards and that was it high school was a total write off from day one. I withdrew socially and academically and hated every day. Basically what I am trying to say is if you withdraw her from school now and home educate her then I think you need to make sure that she has the opportunity to meet and make friends with people who will be going to senior school with her. That way she will have allies. It's the loners who get bullied to start with.

TooTicky · 25/08/2007 00:03

The secondary school she will (hopefully!) be going to takes children from a large number of village primaries, so lots of children won't know each other. Agree it would be good if I can link her up with some though. Not sure how...

OP posts:
Sonnet · 25/08/2007 00:05

The "friendly" group you mentioned? - would that be any good

Guides - where she has some friends - maybe she can see them out of guides?

A new hobby? - sport? - my dd of 10 loves hockey and plays for a local team ( not school!) - no great buddies there yet, but still more people to chat to and means she knows more in the locality

hmm - will keep thinking

what does she enjoy doing?

TheArmadillo · 25/08/2007 00:06

It sounds like it would be worth it to take her out for a year as long as you could manage the social side.

What local groups have you got in the area?

Guides sounds good.

If she is low in confidence how about a martial art or something along those lines to improve her confidence.

Youth groups - church or local govt ones.

Something like St John's Ambulance maybe?

Is there a local HE group round where you are? Some areas have them so she could meet other children who were HEing.

It would be definately worth trying to establish a friendship with someone who would be going to the same senior school as her so she has an ally to start with, as Bewilderbeast said.

TooTicky · 25/08/2007 00:09

St John's Ambulance is the group she is about to join but this and the other Guide group are in a town in the opposite direction from the secondary school, so unlikely anybody will be going.

OP posts:
TooTicky · 25/08/2007 00:10

She loves reading, maths and history. She would love to do climbing but I don't think there is anywhere around here.

OP posts:
Sonnet · 25/08/2007 00:17

Maybe worth investigating HE groups local to you

and you can really indulge her love of history while HE-ing!!

My DD 10 also loves reading and history - has really enjoyed some "historical fiction" over the last couple of months

TooTicky · 25/08/2007 00:21

Hmm, don't suppose you live in Wiltshire?

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UCM · 25/08/2007 00:23

I shouldn't post again on this really, but if you are saving your daughter from one situation that's lovely. What if it happens again? Admittedly if it was my daughter I would do the home ed thingy. But as your daughter gets older she is bound to experience somthing like this at school. I am trying to say, I think, it's better to have her stand up for herself now instead of having to face the sort of bullies that operate in an older environment. They are much much worse. Not sure that this is much help.

Going to bed now. Goodnite

TooTicky · 25/08/2007 00:27

Thanks. She has struggled with this one for a long time though, and is continually scuppered.

OP posts:
FREAKshow · 25/08/2007 00:27

TooTicky, I haven't read the other posts, so apologies if I just repeat what others have written. I relate quite strongly to your daugther's experience - exactly the same thing happened to me. Thinking back to that, I think I would have been much happier not at school. I was alone in school anyway - at leas if I had been educated at home I would have been alone in a more positive way. It really destroyed my self esteem and self respect and it took me a VERY LONG TIME to feel OK with myself - and I have never felt "normal' (hence my munsnet name, in fact).

Lots more people are home schooling, often because of bullying and kids being unhappy - look up the site Education Otherwise to find local groups, which would give your daughter the chance to socialise.

I think a year of her life at this age is too long a time to feel unhappy. She'll never get it back.

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